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BAKER, Sir Richard Chaffey (1841–1911)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1901–06 (Free Trade)</span>

BAKER, Sir Richard Chaffey (1841–1911)
Senator for South Australia, 1901–06 (Free Trade)

Sir Richard Chaffey Baker, barrister, pastoralist and foundation President of the Australian Senate, considered the Senate ‘the pivot on which the whole Federal Constitution revolves’. Baker, the eldest son of twelve children, was born at Adelaide on 22 June 1841 to John Baker, and his wife Isabella, née Allan. John Baker was a pioneer settler who arrived in South Australia in 1839 becoming a

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BARRETT, John George (1858–1928)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–03 (Labor Party)</span>

BARRETT, John George (1858–1928)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–03 (Labor Party)

John George Barrett was born on 17 December 1858 at Carlton, Melbourne, the child of George Barrett, a carpenter, and Eliza Jane, née Elliot, both born in London. His father was active in party politics in Victoria. Barrett was educated at St Mary’s Church of England school at Hotham. On leaving school at the age of twelve he became an apprentice tinsmith, continuing to

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BEST, Sir Robert Wallace (1856–1946)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–10 (Protectionist)</span>

BEST, Sir Robert Wallace (1856–1946)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–10 (Protectionist)

Robert Wallace Best, described as ‘one of those excitable, exclamatory, vehement, enthusiastic men who continually give off heat like radium’, was born at Collingwood, Victoria, on 18 June 1856. His father, also Robert Best, was a farmer who became a customs officer; his mother was Jane, née Wallace. Both parents were Irish-born. The younger Robert Best was educated at the Templeton School in Fitzroy,

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CAMERON, Cyril St Clair  (1857–1941)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Tasmania, 1901–03, 1907–13 (Protectionist; Anti-Socialist Party)</span>

CAMERON, Cyril St Clair (1857–1941)
Senator for Tasmania, 1901–03, 1907–13 (Protectionist; Anti-Socialist Party)

Cyril St Clair Cameron, army officer and farmer, came from a northern Tasmanian family which produced four parliamentarians. Son of Donald Cameron, MLC, and Mary, née Morrison, he was born on 5 December 1857 at the family property, ‘Fordon’, Nile. Educated in Tasmania and Scotland, Cameron received a second lieutenant’s commission with the Queen’s Royal Lancers in 1879. In 1879–80, he served in Afghanistan,

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CHARLESTON, David Morley (1848-1934)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1901-03 (Free Trade)</span>

CHARLESTON, David Morley (1848-1934)
Senator for South Australia, 1901-03 (Free Trade)

The son of John Charleston, blacksmith, and Elizabeth, née Williams, David Morley Charleston, craft unionist and engineer, was born at St Erth, Cornwall on 27 May 1848. He was educated at the national schools and with a private tutor, and became an engineering apprentice at the ironworks of Harvey and Company in Hayle. By 1870, he was a member of the Amalgamated Society of

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CLEMONS, John Singleton (1862–1944)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Tasmania, 1901–14 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party; Liberal Party)</span>

CLEMONS, John Singleton (1862–1944)
Senator for Tasmania, 1901–14 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party; Liberal Party)

John Singleton Clemons, lawyer and businessman, was born in Launceston on 24 March 1862, son of John Nicholas and Anne Alicia, née Tucker. John Nicholas was one of eight schoolteachers brought from England to Tasmania in 1855, following the reorganisation of the Tasmanian school system and the establishment of a centralised department of education. Born in Tiverton, Devonshire, and trained as a teacher at

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DAWSON, Andrew (Anderson) (1863–1910)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1901–06 (Labor Party)</span>

DAWSON, Andrew (Anderson) (1863–1910)
Senator for Queensland, 1901–06 (Labor Party)

‘Andy’ Dawson. The name conjures up a blue flannelled miner or a grease-stained shearer, or a heavy-footed ploughman. Senator Dawson has been all three and more. Andrew (Anderson) Dawson was born on 16 July 1863, at Rockhampton, Queensland, son of Anderson Dawson, miner, and his wife Jane, née Smith. Shortly after his birth, Dawson’s parents died and he was placed in a Brisbane orphanage

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DE LARGIE, Hugh (1859–1947)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1901–23 (Labor Party; National Labour Party; Nationalist Party)</span>

DE LARGIE, Hugh (1859–1947)
Senator for Western Australia, 1901–23 (Labor Party; National Labour Party; Nationalist Party)

Hugh de Largie, miner and trade union leader, was born on 24 March 1859 in Airdrie, Scotland, the son of Archibald, a coal miner, and his wife Mary, née McLaren. Both parents died when he was young. Educated to primary level only, at St Margaret’s School in Airdrie, de Largie worked in the Lanarkshire mines from the age of ten and later became active

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DOBSON, Henry (1841–1918)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Tasmania, 1901–10 (Free Trade; Tariff Reform; Liberal Party)</span>

DOBSON, Henry (1841–1918)
Senator for Tasmania, 1901–10 (Free Trade; Tariff Reform; Liberal Party)

Henry Dobson, lawyer, premier, and federationist, was born at Hobart on 24 December 1841 to John and Kate, née Willis. Henry grew up in a family of lawyers and politicians. His father, a brother and two half-brothers all practised law, and all but the father gained election to either the Tasmanian or Victorian Parliaments. Dobson was educated from the age of nine at The

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DOWNER, Sir John William (1843–1915)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1901–03 (Protectionist)</span>

DOWNER, Sir John William (1843–1915)
Senator for South Australia, 1901–03 (Protectionist)

John William Downer, federationist and defender of the smaller states, was born in Adelaide on 6 July 1843, the fourth son of Henry Downer, a tailor, and his wife Jane, née Field. His parents had emigrated from England in 1838. Downer was to live in Adelaide all his life. Downer attended a private academy and then completed his education at St Peter’s College, where

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DRAKE, James George (1850–1941)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1901–06 (Protectionist)</span>

DRAKE, James George (1850–1941)
Senator for Queensland, 1901–06 (Protectionist)

As one of two ministers in the first Senate, James George Drake established the largest of the seven new Commonwealth departments—that of Postmaster-General. Born in London on 26 April 1850, son of Edward Drake, a publican, and his wife, Ann Fanny, née Hyde, Drake was educated at King’s College School, London. Eager to see the world, he left London on the Abbey Holmeon 4

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EWING, Norman Kirkwood (1870–1928)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1901–03 (Free Trade)</span>

EWING, Norman Kirkwood (1870–1928)
Senator for Western Australia, 1901–03 (Free Trade)

Norman Kirkwood Ewing served in three parliaments and stood for a fourth, but is remembered as a judge. Born on 26 December 1870 at Wollongong, New South Wales, he was the tenth child of a Church of England clergyman, Thomas Ewing, and his wife Elizabeth, née Thomson. His eldest brother (Sir) Thomas was a New South Wales MLA (1885–1901) and Commonwealth MP (1901–10), serving

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FERGUSON, John (1830–1906)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1901–03 (Free Trade)</span>

FERGUSON, John (1830–1906)
Senator for Queensland, 1901–03 (Free Trade)

John Ferguson, builder, contractor and mining investor, was born at Kenmore, Perthshire, Scotland on 15 March 1830, son of John Ferguson, weaver, and his wife Janet, née Ferguson. After a short period of primary schooling, he worked on the Marquis of Breadalbane’s estate. In 1847, he became a carpenter’s apprentice at Killin, later moving to Glasgow where he was employed as a journeyman and

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FRASER, Sir Simon (1832–1919)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–13 (Protectionist; Anti-Socialist Party)</span>

FRASER, Sir Simon (1832–1919)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–13 (Protectionist; Anti-Socialist Party)

Simon Fraser, a successful entrepreneur who became wealthy from dealings in construction, grazing and banking, was a prominent and respected public figure. He was born in Canada, in the town of Pictou, Nova Scotia, on 21 August 1832, the youngest son of a Scottish migrant, William Fraser, a farmer and miller, and his wife Jane, née Fraser. Educated at a local school, Fraser emigrated

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GLASSEY, Thomas (1844–1936)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1901–03 (Protectionist)</span>

GLASSEY, Thomas (1844–1936)
Senator for Queensland, 1901–03 (Protectionist)

Thomas Glassey, miner and auctioneer, and widely regarded as Australia’s first Labor MP, was also a founder of the National Party in Queensland. Glassey was born at Markethill, County Armagh, Ireland, on 26 February 1844, son of Wilhelm Glassey, a mill hand who supported his large family on ten pence a day, and his wife Susannah, who died when Glassey was an infant. From

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GOULD, Sir Albert John (1847–1936)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1901–17 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party; Liberal Party; Nationalist Party)</span>

GOULD, Sir Albert John (1847–1936)
Senator for New South Wales, 1901–17 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party; Liberal Party; Nationalist Party)

In 1936, the then Leader of the Opposition, John Curtin, speaking of Sir Albert Gould, said: ‘I doubt sometimes that the people of Australia to-day really appreciate the importance that belonged to the establishment of the Commonwealth, and the great privilege enjoyed by those who . . . by their public service, sufficiently earned the confidence of the people to justify their return at

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HARNEY, Edward Augustine St Aubyn (1865–1929)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1901–03 (Free Trade)</span>

HARNEY, Edward Augustine St Aubyn (1865–1929)
Senator for Western Australia, 1901–03 (Free Trade)

Edward Harney was remembered by his fellow Western Australian, George Pearce, as ‘one of the bright lights of the first Senate’. Harney was born in Dublin on 31 August 1865, the fifth son of Richard Harney, JP, of Killoteran House, County Waterford, and Ann,née King, of County Tipperary. A Roman Catholic, he was educated at St Vincent’s College, Castleknock, the Jesuit College at Clongowes

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HIGGS, William Guy (1862–1951)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1901–06 (Labor Party)</span>

HIGGS, William Guy (1862–1951)
Senator for Queensland, 1901–06 (Labor Party)

The career of W. G. Higgs, printer and journalist, was characterised by a determination to form his own beliefs and to remain constant to them. His idealism and independence, which helped to formulate the earliest policies of the Labor Party, saw him often in conflict with the Party in later years. William Guy Higgs was born on 18 January 1862 at Wingham, a small

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KEATING, John Henry (1872–1940)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Tasmania, 1901–23 (Protectionist; Liberal Party; Nationalist Party)</span>

KEATING, John Henry (1872–1940)
Senator for Tasmania, 1901–23 (Protectionist; Liberal Party; Nationalist Party)

John Henry Keating’s parting wish as he left the Federal Parliament after twenty-two years was that the Senate would ‘fulfil the functions which the founders of the Constitution fondly believed it would fulfil when they gave it its Constitution’.[1] At twenty-nine, Keating had been the youngest member of the first Commonwealth Parliament. According to Punch, in 1906 he was a ‘tall, plump, youthful looking

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MACFARLANE, James (1844–1914)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Tasmania, 1901–10 (Free Trade)</span>

MACFARLANE, James (1844–1914)
Senator for Tasmania, 1901–10 (Free Trade)

James Macfarlane, shipowner, was born in Glasgow on 2 September 1844, the son of Andrew, a surveyor, and Lillias, née Alexander. James was educated in Glasgow and at the Bruce Castle School near London. He then worked for eight years with Redfern, Alexander and Company, shipowners and merchants of London. His brother John worked in the same firm. In 1870, the brothers migrated to

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MACKELLAR, Charles Kinnaird (1844–1926)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1903 (Protectionist)</span>

MACKELLAR, Charles Kinnaird (1844–1926)
Senator for New South Wales, 1903 (Protectionist)

Described affectionately as ‘the children’s friend’, Sir Charles Kinnaird Mackellar was a practical philanthropist whose life work involved the care of the ‘helpless, homeless and friendless’. A physician, businessman and social reformer, Mackellar was born in Sydney on 5 December 1844, the son of Frederick Mackellar, a distinguished medical practitioner, and Isabella McGarvie, née Robertson. After completing his education at Sydney Grammar School, Mackellar

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MATHESON, Sir Alexander Perceval (1861–1929)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1901–06 (Free Trade)</span>

MATHESON, Sir Alexander Perceval (1861–1929)
Senator for Western Australia, 1901–06 (Free Trade)

Alexander Matheson, merchant and developer, was born in Mayfair, London, on 6 February 1861, the eldest son of Sir Alexander Matheson, a Member of Parliament who was created a Baronet in 1882, and his third wife, Eleanor, née Perceval. Eleanor was a granddaughter of Spencer Perceval, the British Prime Minister assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons in 1812. The young Alexander

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McGREGOR, Gregor (1848–1914)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1901–14 (Labor Party)</span>

McGREGOR, Gregor (1848–1914)
Senator for South Australia, 1901–14 (Labor Party)

Gregor McGregor, stonemason, builder’s labourer, trade unionist and first Labor leader of the Senate, was described by a Senate colleague as having ‘a grim, pawky Scottish brand of humour with a certain bad boy flavour about it’.[1]McGregor was born on 18 March 1848, son of Malcolm McGregor, gardener, and his wife Jane, in Kilmun, Argyllshire, Scotland. Gregor spent his childhood in Scotland and County

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MILLEN, Edward Davis (1860–1923)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1901–23 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party; Liberal Party; Nationalist Party)</span>

MILLEN, Edward Davis (1860–1923)
Senator for New South Wales, 1901–23 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party; Liberal Party; Nationalist Party)

As Australia’s first Minister for Repatriation, Edward Millen was a central figure in the establishment of Australia’s repatriation policies and machinery. Born in Deal, Kent, on 7 November 1860, the son of John Bullock Millen, a pilot of the Cinque Ports, and Charlotte, née Davis, he began his working life as an adjuster of marine insurance. Migrating to New South Wales around 1880, Millen

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NEILD, John Cash (1846–1911)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1901–10 (Free Trade)</span>

NEILD, John Cash (1846–1911)
Senator for New South Wales, 1901–10 (Free Trade)

John Cash Neild was born in the prosperous English port city of Bristol on 4 January 1846 to a surgeon of the same name and his wife Maria, née Greenwood, the daughter of a banker. In 1853, the family migrated to New Zealand, but the resurgence of war with the Maori led them to move to Sydney in 1860. Young Neild began work with

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O’CONNOR, Richard Edward (1851–1912)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1901–03 (Protectionist)</span>

O’CONNOR, Richard Edward (1851–1912)
Senator for New South Wales, 1901–03 (Protectionist)

The first Leader of the Government in the Senate, Richard EdwardO’Connor, was born at Glebe, Sydney on 4 August 1851, the son of Richard O’Connor, librarian of the New South Wales Legislative Council and later Clerk of the Parliaments, and Mary Ann, née Harnett. He attended St Mary’s College, Lyndhurst, and Sydney Grammar School before entering the University of Sydney where, in 1870, he

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O’KEEFE, David John (1864–1943)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Tasmania, 1901–06, 1910–20 (Australian Labor Party)</span>

O’KEEFE, David John (1864–1943)
Senator for Tasmania, 1901–06, 1910–20 (Australian Labor Party)

In May 1901, the Melbourne Age in describing the men of the new Federal Parliament referred to Senator O’Keefe of Tasmania as ‘a moderate Labor representative, a moderate protectionist and a moderate believer in many other things’.[1]David John O’Keefe was born, probably on 21 August 1864, at Longford, Tasmania, to David John O’Keefe, farmer, and Mary Ann, née McCullagh. After leaving Carrick State School

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PEARCE, Sir George Foster (1870–1952)<br /> <span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1901–38 (Labor Party; National Labour Party; Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)</span>

PEARCE, Sir George Foster (1870–1952)
Senator for Western Australia, 1901–38 (Labor Party; National Labour Party; Nationalist Party; United Australia Party)

Sir George Foster Pearce, carpenter and trade union leader, was born on 14 January 1870 at Mount Barker, South Australia, one of ten children of James Pearce, a blacksmith who had emigrated from Cornwall, and his wife Jane, née Foster, of London. He left school at eleven and became a farm worker, but after several unhappy years on the land, he began a carpentry

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PLAYFORD, Thomas (1837–1915)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1901–06 (Protectionist)</span>

PLAYFORD, Thomas (1837–1915)
Senator for South Australia, 1901–06 (Protectionist)

Thomas Playford, fruit grower and politician of Adelaide, was born at Bethnal Green, London, on 26 November 1837, eldest surviving son of Thomas Playford and his second wife Mary Ann, née Perry. The senior Playford, whose occupation at the time of the birth of young Thomas was that of a clerk at the Horse Guards, migrated with his family to South Australia in 1844

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PULSFORD, Edward (1844–1919)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1901–10 (Free Trade)</span>

PULSFORD, Edward (1844–1919)
Senator for New South Wales, 1901–10 (Free Trade)

Edward Pulsford does not leap out of Hansard as one of the most exciting of senators. At first sight, the only claim one can make to establish Pulsford’s notoriety is that throughout his political career he was a staunch advocate of free trade. But by any measure, Edward Pulsford’s contribution to Australian public life was noticeable. In many ways, he aspired to the model

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REID, Robert (1842–1904)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1903 (Free Trade)</span>

REID, Robert (1842–1904)
Senator for Victoria, 1903 (Free Trade)

Robert Reid, a shrewd, highly successful softgoods wholesaler, and a pillar of the Collins Street Baptist Church, was fond of the biblical passage: ‘Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings’. Reid, born on 17 October 1842 at Leven, Fifeshire, Scotland, was the second son of Robert Reid, stationer and bookseller, and his wife Catherine, née Lambert. The family

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SARGOOD, Sir Frederick Thomas (1834–1903)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–03 (Free Trade)</span>

SARGOOD, Sir Frederick Thomas (1834–1903)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–03 (Free Trade)

Sir Frederick Sargood, ‘one of the merchant princes of the Commonwealth’, was born on 30 May 1834 at Walworth, London, son of Frederick James Sargood, merchant, and his wife, Emma, née Rippon. Young Sargood was educated at private schools in England before migrating to Victoria with his parents and five sisters, arriving in Melbourne as an assisted immigrant on the Clifton in 1850. After

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SAUNDERS, Henry John (1855–1919)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1903 (Free Trade)</span>

SAUNDERS, Henry John (1855–1919)
Senator for Western Australia, 1903 (Free Trade)

Henry John Saunders was born in London on 16 February 1855. He was the son of Thomas Bush Saunders, chief magistrate of Bradford-on-Avon, and his wife, Maria Albers, née Pedder. Saunders was a member of the Church of England, and was educated at Clifton College, Bristol. He then studied civil engineering, becoming an associate member of the Institute of Certified Engineers, London. Because of

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SMITH, Miles Staniforth Cater (1869–1934)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Western Australia, 1901–06 (Free Trade)</span>

SMITH, Miles Staniforth Cater (1869–1934)
Senator for Western Australia, 1901–06 (Free Trade)

Miles Staniforth Cater Smith, administrator, soldier, author, explorer and farmer, was a colourful and controversial character. Usually known as Staniforth Smith, he was born on 25 February 1869 at Kingston, Victoria, to English-born parents, William John Smith, a farmer, and Margaret Gomersall, née Charlesworth. After education at St Arnaud Grammar School, Smith studied engineering, for a time, at Melbourne University. Employed in the Melbourne

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STEWART, James Charles (1850–1931)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Queensland, 1901–17 (Labor Party)</span>

STEWART, James Charles (1850–1931)
Senator for Queensland, 1901–17 (Labor Party)

James Charles Stewart, an advocate of Scottish home rule, was born in Gorton, near Grantown‑on‑Spey, Morayshire, Scotland, on 7 September 1850. His father, Angus, was a farmer and blacksmith and his mother was Jessie Cruickshanks. Both lived in Gorton. James Charles attended the parish school until he was twelve, when he began work as a farm labourer. He must have continued some studies for

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STYLES, James (1841–1913)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–06 (Protectionist)</span>

STYLES, James (1841–1913)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–06 (Protectionist)

James Styles was born in Croyden, Surrey, in 1841. In 1849, his parents, William and Harriet, née Friend, migrated to Victoria. William, who had been involved in railway building in England, worked as a contractor of roads and bridges. James was educated at various Melbourne schools, including St James’ Church of England School in William Street. He was then employed by a railway contractor

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SYMON, Sir Josiah Henry (1846–1934)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for South Australia, 1901–13 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party)</span>

SYMON, Sir Josiah Henry (1846–1934)
Senator for South Australia, 1901–13 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party)

Josiah Henry Symon was born at Wick, Caithness, Scotland, on 27 September 1846, the son of James, a cabinetmaker, and Elizabeth, née Sutherland. Josiah was educated at the Allan’s School, Stirling, the Stirling High School and then inEdinburgh for two years. In 1866, Symon migrated to South Australia and began a legal career, taking articles with his cousin, J. D.  Sutherland, at rural Mount

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WALKER, James Thomas (1841–1923)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for New South Wales, 1901–13 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party)</span>

WALKER, James Thomas (1841–1923)
Senator for New South Wales, 1901–13 (Free Trade; Anti-Socialist Party)

James Thomas Walker, banker, federalist and ‘out-and-out free-trader’, was born on 20 March 1841 in Leith Walk, Midlothian, Scotland, to John William Walker, grazier, and Elizabeth, née Waterston. In 1844, John William moved to Australia with his family, settling on Castlesteads Station, Boorowa, in New South Wales. After four years, he sold the property to Hamilton Hume, the explorer, and the family returned to

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ZEAL, Sir William Austin (1830–1912)<br /><span class=subheader>Senator for Victoria, 1901–06 (Protectionist)</span>

ZEAL, Sir William Austin (1830–1912)
Senator for Victoria, 1901–06 (Protectionist)

William Zeal was born on 5 December 1830 at Westbury, Wiltshire, England, the son of Thomas Zeal, a wine merchant and his wife Ann, née Greenland. Zeal was educated privately at schools in Westbury and Windsor, obtaining a diploma as a surveyor and engineer in 1851. In 1852, he migrated to Australia and headed straight to the Victorian goldfields. He worked for some two

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